Ultimatums: Those who tell the truth are a danger

I am never told exactly what I would like to hear. I am told at times, with great infrequency, words that move directly to my soul, like whispers. Take Robert Hass’ poetry or Lyn Hejinian’s or Louise Gluck’s, I don’t listen to what is not dreamy. Take my …, for example. They are too much like ultimatums: “Do it this way or you’ll die,” for example. Life under these pressures is not real. It is simply one man’s insecurity over another’s. There’s no joy in it. It is like slavery, some group separated from the rest of us, when if you haven’t noticed, people not working are generally happy, unless of course they are doing the kind of work that they love. But, then how many people actually like what they are doing? Even the stuff you think you’d like turns out to be so stressful because everything is always pushed beyond the comfort level. “What’s the rush?” I say, but of course, that’s not what you’d like to hear. No, you want to hear what’s uncomfortable and possibly disruptive to your closely held beliefs: “Information, facts, evidence, and patterns…[that might] possibly disprove what you thought to be indisputable.” No, I know who you are. We are so much the same. We are always talking about how wonderful women are or how men have to protect them, but it begs the question: “What the hell are we doing?” or “What is our motivation?” I think we actually think that we prefer discomforting truths, but we don’t, we want to be right and so we search for the truth to be better than anyone else, faster with the truth because we spend all day, where mostly everyone else doesn’t have the time because they are working or taking care of a family. The truth is that most people don’t have the time to consider what the truth is anyway because they can’t possibly question their lives and the injustices they’ve created for themselves simply because they are now embedded in the train going nowhere. The fact is, they run the show. Every overspent human being on the planet rushing around trying to put food on the table of their family pandering to every lie perpetuated by a mainstream media with the intent to make the world proverbially unsafe, is, just as you say, preferring simply to be told what they have to do to survive and they will do it. Those “preconceived notions” are just what’s for dinner, and the “information, facts, evidence, and patterns that might make you feel uncomfortable,” that’s par for the course they have to play every day of the week. There is no question: They are conservative and we are liberal. We’ve got more time than a baby on LIPITOR. And they have babies in every arm. At a point in time, we will both realize that the truth is not what we had hoped for. It slows you down in the subways of the indisputable truth. Those who tell the truth are a danger to society.

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